The WAC is a fully equipped centre where businesses, knowledge institutions and other organisations can conduct experiments in the area of water technology.
Water technology is a strategic choice of the Province to invest in. Within the developed Water Campus, there is (i) need for water related research facilities with focus on application development and (ii) a need for education on a vocational level as well as at the level of the Universities for Applied Sciences. The WAC was established in an already existing technology hall for water and environmental education. It was redesigned with the assistance of companies and experts.
The WAC facilitates both purposes (education and research/piloting) and led to a better integration between the theoretical and practical side of applied research.
The aim is to facilitate applied research for companies combined with a state of the art experimental hall, also useable for the practical part of the vocational and higher education.
Currently the facilities are used by 2 different Universities of Applied Sciences, an institute for vocational education, several companies renting space and offices, and project based research with Centre of Expertise Water Technology (CEW), CIV Water: for excellent craftsmen in the area of water, and professorships.
The main stakeholders are Hogeschool van Hall Larenstein, NHL-Stenden, Water campus Leeuwarden, Wetsus, Center of Expertise Water technology and the local water related organizations and SME’s.
The budget for funding/financial resources used and/or the human resources required to set up and to run the practice is around 600 kEUR on a yearly basis.
Evidence of success
Last year there were 12 companies that made a long term use (renting the facilities and the services) of the Waterapplication centre for their research. Two professorships doing their research or a part of their research in the Waterapplication centre. Practical work and student research projects are held for four educations: Environmental science, Chemical Technology, Food Technology and Biotechnology. Many students fulfilled an internship at the Waterapplication centre (through the companies,
It is a challenge to fulfil the expectations that companies have towards the use and services they pay for in balance with the reality of scarce resources that are available for the Water application centre.
Potential for learning or transfer
Develop a network; in this case WAC is part of the Water Alliance and the Water Campus. This gives leads for research and companies looking for developing and demonstrating water technology. The other important network are education and (student) research projects. They must be developed in close cooperation, and clarity on the education programme, the timing and costs of projects must be clear in a very early stage of the collaboration to manage expectation. Time lines in education (many fixed programmes, long term) should be kept in mind with respect to the need for students in projects and working with the companies (short timeline and high flexibility). So we had to learn which projects are suitable within the WAC and which not. The Collaboration with CEW was very useful to arrange part of this puzzle in bringing together supply demand.